AMC Adds Courtney B. Vance for '61st Street,' Rounds Out 'Soulmates' Cast

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Matthew Jordan Smith; Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix; Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

AMC is exploring love in the future and heading to the courtroom in two of its upcoming series.

At the Television Critics' Association Press Tour, the network announced casting for both drama 61st Street and its anthology series Soulmates.

Emmy Award-winner Courtney B. Vance will star in the thrilling courtroom drama 61st Street, which has been ordered as a two-season television event with eight episodes per season.

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AMC also announced several recurring roles for the new series debuting in Spring 2020.

The series follows Moses Johnson, a promising, black high school athlete who becomes swept up in the infamously corrupt Chicago criminal justice system. He finds himself in the eye of the storm as a supposed gang member when police and prosecutors seek revenge for an officer's death during a drug bust gone wrong.

Vance will star as Franklin Roberts, a public defender in the twilight of his career in the busiest courthouse in America. Though he'd told his wife he'd retire to spend more time with their 17-year-old autistic son, he knows Moses is a case of a lifetime that can upend the entire Chicago judicial system and challenge the institutional racism and endemic corruption at its heart.

61st Street comes from Peter Moffat. It is executive produced by Michael B. Jordan, Alana Mayo, and Hilary Salmon. Moffat will serve as showrunner and executive producer alongside J. David Shanks.

Betsy Brandt and JJ Feild (Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images; Dominik Bindl/Getty Images)

Charlie Heaton, Malin Akerman, Betsy Brandt, and JJ Feild have joined the previously announced Sarah Snook, David Costabile, and Sonya Cassidy in the six-part Soulmates.

The series, written by Will Bridges and Brett Goldstein, is set 15 years in the future, when science has discovered a test that unequivocally tells you who your soulmate is. In a first for the network, each episode features a different cast in a new story about discovering — or choosing not to discover — the results of the test and the impact those results have on a myriad of relationships.

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In one episode, big-hearted Kurt (Heaton) is lost after learning his soulmate is dead and finds faith and opportunity in a church that helps those like him. Meanwhile, Martha (Akerman) puts her trust in the test and that church after bouncing from one bad relationship to another. Travis (Joe Anderson) is a heartbroken, suicidal man isolated from his family and looking for forgiveness. Brother Samson (Steven Mackintosh) spreads a message of a hopeful future to his flock, giving them peace and the understanding they're all worthy of love.

In another episode, push-over Caitlin (Brandt) learns to stand up for herself after finding her soulmate. Also, Nathan (Feild) decides to share his dark side when he meets his match Caitlin, while Doug (Tom Goodman-Hill) is Caitlin's dependable and dependably unromantic boyfriend.

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Rob Savage, Marco Kreuzpaintner, Andrea Harkin, and Bridges will direct the series. Bridges and Goldstein serve as executive producers with Jolyon Symonds through Fearless Minds, a Banijay Group company.

Soulmates, Summer 2020, AMC

61st Street, 2021, AMC